I kinda promised to NOT copy Howard’s blog and this violates that. BUT, in my defense, this part (being quoted) is from one of his readers and the writing and the content are great. I think he/she nailed it. Trump is a Salesman-to-the-max.
“In the responses to my blogs, some are critical; others are laudatory. But sometimes they offer a very different angle to my own, but usually a complementary one. The feedback below is an excellent example”. Howard
READER RESPONSE: Trump and Heidegger
This is by no means a defense of Trump, just some musings about his psychology and the context in which he thinks he is operating. Trump, posing as the Republican candidate, can afford to be more openly critical of the prevailing system, given that he, as it happens, is its opponent. His voter base is the people, who did not vote for the current president and are highly critical of him and want change at almost any price, thinking: “Anything is better than what we have got to put up with now.” The candidate whose followers expect a radical change always has an easier time as there are always enough angry, hurt, disenchanted, disappointed, anxious people who are the most sympathetic audience to work with. Their being receptive to any pitch you hurl at them is a given: they are psychologically available to your promises of change. All marketing works like this: it exploits your neediness, offering solutions and ointments to your perceived or real vulnerabilities.
Trump, the seasoned salesman, recognizes this fertile context of anger and vulnerability and exploits it instinctively. He does this, not because he has high ideals to serve the people, but because he wants to show that he can make this most prestigious sale. It is an irresponsible game of thrones to him – it is not about truth or public service. His comment “I got him to produce his birth certificate” is telling. In hindsight, Trump still prides himself, and considers the whole affair as his personal triumph because, as an ordinary citizen, he succeeded in forcing the president to present his documents; the actual substantial outcome, namely, that after all, the president was found to possess the birthright to serve is irrelevant at this point (perhaps it was irrelevant all along?). I still believe the whole presidency is only important to Trump as a further proof of the strength of his pitch: he does not really want to be a president for any other, more profound or noble reasons. I can imagine him after winning to shrug and smirk and boast: “I showed you, didn’t I?” and secretly wonder just what the hell he is gonna do now with this burdensome responsibility…he will probably sabotage it and welcome an impeachment.
When Trump is caught at being inconsistent or lying, he can shrug it off because in the moment he had uttered those inanities they sounded, at least to him, like the right line to convince the customer to buy his product. Like a used car salesman who begins pitching the car with the heated seats, until the customer complains that she is suffering from hot flushes, in which moment the salesman promptly switches the lines to extol the virtues of the superior AC system. This is not about truth or analysis, but about tuning in on the vulnerability of the buyer and promptly offering the snake oil treatment. In this sense, Trump is “other-oriented” like no one else, albeit for totally self-serving reasons, to be sure.
That’s why he did not prepare for the debate; he trusted his radar to detect the emotions of his listeners and zero in on them to beat them that way; he had no idea that his key listeners, his opponent and the moderator were skilled in poker face, much more than his usual crowd; that a debate like this required a preconceived strategy, ideas and analysis and a cool and detached demeanor. Trump did what he always does; he kept melodramatically reciting the problems of the system as perceived by him, in order to heat up the room: that is an excellent starting point in marketing, but not so great in a debate. He was clearly out of his element there…that’s why he appeared sulking, making faces, unable to control his emotions, resorting to jabs, falling into his opponent’s words, and ultimately outright denying everything when he felt cornered (if we lived in the Victorian era, he could have perhaps strategically fainted and clamored for his smelling salts).
Strangely, Trump fulfilled the stereotype of why some people think feminine persons cannot lead, while Hillary performed according to the stereotype of a strong masculine leader: controlled (almost to the point of an automaton); prepared, speaking coherently and clearly (albeit in a somewhat schoolmarmish manner, monotonously over pronouncing her rehearsed lines), and showing great stamina – yes, stamina – taking her opponent’s childish kicking the table during the whole dinner with a pained, yet benevolent smile. The funny thing is that Trump, despite all, may win the sympathy of some voters, precisely because of this open-book readability of his emotional states while Hillary’s behavior, wearing an impenetrable mask interspersed with toothy full smiles that seem as if they could be turned on and off with the press of a button, most of the time wholly unjustified by the situation, is ultimately a turn-off.